Notes: Bruins' power play continues to sputter

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Notes: Bruins' power play continues to sputter

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

MONTREAL The track record isnt great.

The last team to capture a Stanley Cup playoff series without scoring at least one power-play goal was the Detroit Red Wings during a four-game sweep of the Anaheim Ducks in 2003.

Its much more difficult to track down a team that emerged victorious in a six- or seven-game series without a power-play goal. And if the Bruins -- now a pathetic 0-for-19 with the man advantage during their series against the Canadiens -- wind up losing, their failure to convert on the power play will be a big reason why.

Weve got to be a lot better on the PP, said Mark Recchi. Were not getting any sustained pressure to top it off. Were getting one shot or one hit, and its getting blocked down."

The Bruins managed a grand total of two shots on net in their four power plays Tuesday night, and its gotten to the point where theres little puck movement once in the zone and absolutely no creative player movement without the puck to force the Habs penalty killers into unfamiliar territory.

The Bruins seem exceptionally frustrated that they cant get even consistently maintain possession in the offensive zone while skating with the man advantage, and its gotten to the point where perhaps things need to be a little different. The current power-play design isnt surprising anybody, and is certainly not sneaking up on a Montreal team thats seen their power play time and time again over the five years.

Its up to Claude Julien and more specifically assistant Geoff Ward, who's in charge of the power play to start discovering ways to tweak the man advantage, perhaps adding Zdeno Chara to the big bodies down low around the net when things are getting a little rough.

Recchi wasnt biting when asked about potentially switching up the personnel and placing Chara smack dab in front of the net.

Thats not my job," Recchi said. "My job is whatever the coach tells me to go do. Whatever they come up with, well work through it and go there."

Milan Lucic was not given a match penalty for his hit from behind on Jaroslav Spacek that ended with the Bs big left winger's night. He did get a game misconduct and was tossed out of the game.

Claude Julien and the rest of the Bruins didnt want to comment on the incident.

I havent had any chance to really look at it closely, said Julien. You see quick replays here and there, but its something that I need to see here before Im able to comment on that.

Shawn Thornton managed only four shifts and 2:27 of ice time in the first period of Game 6 as the special teams took over. With that in mind, and with a power play thats getting absolutely nothing done, could there be a movement to start playing Tyler Seguin against the Canadiens.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL. 

The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season. 

It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents. 

“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”

Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari. 

“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”

That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win. 

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.